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Millie Pratley, Chobham Academy Book Group

Salt to the Sea

Having been a fan of historical fiction for a while, I had big expectations for this book. I often found myself not being able to put a book of that genre down and finishing it in a night. 'Salt to the Sea' by Ruta Sepetys was, of course, no exception. It was one of those books that actually had all of the things that I adored inside it: exhilarating plot, lovable and loathable characters, a gorgeous cover and even a map at the start! This book was so beautifully crafted, deeming it as one of my favourite.

The story itself mainly focuses on four people: Florian, Emilia, Joana and Alfred, all of which have their own dark secret, based on the four sentence starters for the first four chapters;

Guilt is a hunter.
Fate is a hunter.
Shame is a hunter.
Fear is a hunter.

Events related to these four statements often take place within parts of the story, which really captivated me whilst I was reading. This also added up to the many reasons why I finished it in a night. Seeing these statements for the first time offered a huge bit of suspense, leaving me eager to find out just what they meant, and why they were there.

I loved how every different character had a mind of their own, and how their different points were explained individually, chapter by chapter. This was a huge difference to usual books, where it is told in third or second person. I ended up feeling really close to the characters, the book is so well written that it felt as if I really knew them personally. I also loved the fact that it is historically accurate and really captures the terrifying atmosphere of World War II, making it seem as if you are actually there as a witness.

The book is filled to the brim of happy moments, sad moments, moments of sheer terror, making a truly memorable experience for the reader. I definitely will consider reading this again after a while, as there is a chance that I may have sudden realisations in the second read!

As for bad things, there's not many! One thing, however, could be the fact that the constant changing of points of views could be confusing if you try and skim read through the book (why would you want to, though?) as you may find yourself not being able to tell what is going on and who it is talking about.

The author of this beautiful book, Ruta Sepetys, is by far one of the most talented I have seen. Her work is gorgeous and I definitely will read some more books by her when I have the chance!

Posted on: 28th March 2017 at 06:32 am

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